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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


November 11th, 2018

Lucilius and a friend decided to cook some food on a beach one evening.  They lugged a grill and a cooler full of food and drinks down to the sandy shore and set up the evening’s camp.  The beach was strewn with huge logs that had washed ashore, a byproduct of the regions’ logging industry.


Some of these logs had been painstakingly set into the ground like flagpoles, or looking like bare trees with no branches nor bark.


While Lucilius’ friend took the initiative with the cooking, Lucilius found himself wondering if he could climb one of the upright logs.  He walked up to one and studied it.  The top was flat and about 20 feet high.  Maybe it was doable.  He attempted to grab the log in different ways and tried to find footing all around it, but after enough attempts, he decided to give up.


Lucilius’ friend had been watching him the whole time and wondered likewise, though felt a greater sense of possibility.


He quickly walked up to the same log.  Lucilius watched how in a seeming flash, his friend ascended to the top of the log. 


“How did you do that?” Lucilius asked looking up.


His friend looked down and returned, “I’m not really sure, but I was confident it could be done.”


Lucilius turned to another nearby log and marched up to it, and before he could think too much, he too had climbed to the top and stood high up on the same level as his friend.  They both laughed and enjoyed the view for a little while before getting back down to tend to the food.



When dinner’d been had and the two were growing cold as the sun set, they packed things up and started the trek home.


Lucilius wondered about the strange little incident when he couldn’t for the life of him climb the log.  Seeing his friend do it had somehow changed everything. 


He’d been so concerned with trying to put together some kind of technique to get a boost up on the log, when his friend just went at it, almost without thinking, as though he’d simply trusted his body.


But, Lucilius decided in thought, it all came down to that initial perspective his friend had while watching.  He’d been more sure it was possible than Lucilius.  And once Lucilius had seen it actually was possible, he too gained a perspective that somehow made the whole effort easy. 


He wondered as they walked, how much needless effort was wasted while people second guessed the possibility of their aims.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

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Podcast Ep. 210: A Lucilius Parable: Second Guessing

Tinkered Thinking

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